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The government set new limits for events and activities that lack infection control

30. July 2021 - 0:00

Stenbock House, 30 July 2021 – Today, at an e-session, the government approved an order reinstating the obligation to wear a mask on public transport from 2 August and reduce the maximum number of participants allowed at events and activities without infection control from 9 August; in future, activities with a larger number of visitors can only be organised if the infection safety and monitoring thereof is ensured.

The government decided on Monday that from 2 August, up to 500 people can take part in indoor events and activities that lack infection control. For outdoor events, this number is 1,500. In accordance with today’s order, from 9 August, up to 50 participants are allowed at uncontrolled indoors events and activities, and up to 100 participants are allowed outdoors. For indoor events and activities, the limit applies to the whole building or territory, e.g., not just the theatre hall but the whole theatre.

The new limits will apply to public meetings and events that lack infection control, including conferences, theatre performances, concerts, cinema screenings, as well as to the provision of entertainment services, e.g., in nightclubs, casinos, billiard halls, and children’s playrooms. The limits also apply to religious services, museums, and exhibitions.

The new restrictions also cover sports, trainings, youth work, hobby activities and education, refresher training and courses, and the organisation of sports competitions and sports and fitness events as well as public saunas, spas, water parks, pools, and catering establishments.

Pursuant to an amendment to the order, the distinction between indoor and outdoor conditions which applied to catering establishments, saunas, spas, water centres, and swimming pools will be eliminated, as persons seated at an outdoor terrace of a café or using the outdoor pool in most cases also use the indoor facilities of the café or spa, for example. This means that from 9 August, these places can accommodate up to 50 people in total, both indoors and outdoors, without infection control. The limit will not apply to takeaway orders.

The new limits do not apply to commercial activities and the provision of other services, including accommodation, where dispersal and disinfection requirements will remain in force.

Events and activities with a larger number of participants will require COVID-19 certificates

Indoor events and activities with more than 50 participants and outdoor events and activities with more than 100 participants can only be organised if the infection safety and monitoring thereof is ensured. This means that only those who have been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or presented a negative test result can take part in the events and activities. In such cases, there may be up to 6,000 attendees indoors and up to 12,000 outdoors.

A rapid antigen test can be taken up to 48 hours in advance or a PCR test up to 72 hours in advance to participate in an event or activity. The test must be performed by a healthcare provider. To participate in an event or activity, the test result must be negative.

Until now, the organiser was obliged to provide on-the-spot rapid antigen testing immediately before the event, but this requirement will be abolished with the amendment approved today. The organiser may still offer the possibility to do a rapid test in accordance with the instructions of the Health Board, but if they decide not to, the person wishing to enter on the basis of a test result must arrange the testing on their own at a health care provider.

Before the start of an event or activity, all participants who have been vaccinated, have recovered from the disease, or have been tested must provide the respective certificate to the organiser. The organiser must check the COVID-19 certificates of all attendants and verify their authenticity and validity, and in case of doubt, identify the person providing the certificate. All spectators as well as staff, caterers, and performers must be checked. Persons who do not prove their infection safety cannot participate in the event or activity.

For the time being, people under the age of 18 do not have to prove their infection safety, i.e., vaccination, COVID-19 recovery, or a negative test result. If vaccination coverage among people under the age of 18 increases and young people have had the opportunity to receive a second dose of the vaccine, the age limit will be reviewed. In addition, a negative test is not required from people with special needs if it is not reasonable to test them.

Obligation to wear a mask on public transport

From 2 August, the obligation to cover the nose and mouth in public transport will be restored to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection in the confined spaces of public transport. The obligation to wear a mask does not apply to children under the age of 12 or if wearing a mask is not reasonable for health or other valid reasons.

These changes are based on an assessment by the Health Board and their aim is to curb the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and the associated burden on hospitals.

The order is published in Riigi Teataja and on the website together with the explanatory memorandum. Instructions for using COVID-19 certificates will be made available at